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On Thursday, Oscar Pistorius’ defense team called a social worker to the stand, who testified that she believed the athlete was “sincere” in his grief following the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.
Yvette van Schalkwyk said that she was upset about the media reports that the sprint-runner had taken acting lessons and was not sincere in his grief, The Telegraph noted.
“From the first second, I saw a man who was heartbroken about the loss, he cried, he was in mourning,” the court-appointed social worker said. “He suffered emotionally. He loved her.”
The prosecution suggested that Pistorius was only grieving for himself, but van Schalkwyk contended that he was grieving because he “suffered a loss.”
The Associated Press reported that the defense also called anesthetist, Prof. Aina Christina Lundgren to the stand. She was questioned about how long it takes a person to digest food and testified that Steenkamp’s digestive process could have been delayed for a number of reasons.
Her expertise is a key point for the defense because the double-amputee sprinter claimed that the couple last ate around 7:00 p.m. However, a pathologist for the state said that there was food found in the model's stomach indicating that she ate much later.
Prosecutors believe that Pistorius intentionally shot his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013. However, he claims that he only shot her after mistaking her for an intruder. He has pleaded not guilty to murder.